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The reports of a major character’s death on the final season of Desperate Housewives might be settled as a result of testimony in the trial between Nicolette Sheridan and the show’s producers over her character’s elimination from the series.
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During his testimony Thursday, executive producer George Perkins dropped a blockbuster on the stand when he revealed that James Denton’s character, Mike Delfino, husband to Teri Hatcher’s Susan, will see his end on this Sunday’s episode.
His revelation was in answer to a question from Sheridan’s lawyer about whether any characters as important as Edie Britt have been killed off since she left.
His answer brought a gasp in the courtroom. The judge said playfully that she could not order the press to keep that secret.
Creator Marc Cherry, sitting with his lawyers watching, sat up, and his face turned red. Then, he seemed to accept what has been revealed and smiled as if in resignation.
Just before that, Perkins had listed other stars on the show they considered killing off in June 2008 besides Edie Britt. He said those included the character of Susan Delfino; Carlos, played by Ricardo Chavira; and Denton.
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Perkins said they talked about but decided not to kill off Lynette (Felicity Huffman), Bree (Marcia Cross), Gaby (Eva Longoria) and Tom (Doug Savant).
Denton, expected to be the only cast member to take the stand during the trial, testified earlier Thursday that he wasn’t shocked by the death of Sheridan’s character. “People get killed so often,” he said.
Mike’s death comes as series creator Cherry and ABC are defending a $6 million “wrongful-death” lawsuit over Sheridan’s firing from the series. Cherry and ABC have argued that characters often are killed off shows, meaning the Sheridan situation was not out of the ordinary. Sheridan argues her character was killed during season five in retaliation for her complaining about an altercation with Cherry on the set.
When THR asked the cast members earlier this season about the big death and what their character’s tombstone would say, Denton joked: “Something like, ‘Finally got him.’ I’ve gotten run over, been in a coma, I’ve been in prison, so it’s like run out of lives.”
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